difficulties being in public

I am a terrible, odious person when I am not writing. Last night, someone said to me, “Fiction is so easy, right? I mean, compared to non fiction?” And I thought, I invite you to find all the ways possible  to go and fuck yourself, because fiction writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and that includes the illnesses and deaths of immediate family members.

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being in public is hard

I am an odious person when I am not writing. Last night, someone said to me, “Fiction is so easy, right? I mean, compared to non fiction?” And I thought, I invite you to find all the possible ways to go and fuck yourself, because fiction writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, and that includes enduring the illnesses and deaths of immediate family members.

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from The Women’s Room, Marilyn French

‘When a man loses superiority, he loses potency. That’s what all this talk about castrating women is about. Castrating women are those who refuse to pretend men are better than they are and better than women are. The simple truth—that men are only equal—can undermine a culture more devastatingly than any bomb. Subversion is telling the truth.’

write it down

“A woman sitting by herself is not waiting for you.”

(Caitlin Stasey)

“The yard is full of hard rubbish it’s a mess and I guess the neighbors must think we run a meth lab”

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music songs: avant gardener – courtney barnett,  berlin – shmemel, charlie – colin meloy, river on your right- tylan/ingrid elizabeth, london – she and him, i wish i was the moon- neko case, i follow rivers – lykke li, old college try – the mountain goats

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From How to Be a Heroine (Samantha Ellis)

“The boys were studying fascinating, abstruse Talmud, while we girls learned each festival via its cakes. We baked honeycakes for Rosh Hashanah, hamentaschen for Purim, macaroons for Pesach. One day we left the creamy Shavuot cheesecakes to cool while we went off to learn about the purity laws. We returned to find nothing but crumbs. The boys had eaten the cakes. As we washed up the empty tins, I wondered why no one else was angry.”

(Reblogged from Lilit Goes)

Right in front of you (Jami Attenberg)

Been talking to some of my students about writing what’s right in front of you instead of worrying about where it’s going to be six chapters from now. If you look over your shoulder when you’re writing – particularly in the early stages of a novel – you might stop yourself from moving forward. You can’t hesitate when you’re generating pages, you can’t question yourself too much. Write the thing that’s easiest first, the thing that’s offering itself up to you, and work your way up to the hard stuff. If you can find an entry point, good lord, take it.

Now I find myself having to apply that same advice to myself. I’ve been seeing a particular house in my daydreams that I know lies in the distance somewhere in my writing. Maybe it’s this book, maybe it’s the next. It’s in the woods, in a small town, and there’s a light on. All my most memorable dreams are about living spaces: hotel rooms, bedrooms, apartments, lofts, houses. I dream of old, lived-in houses, messy houses, brand new houses that I automatically own even though I’ve never paid a dime for them. For every stage of my life there’s a house. There’s a house in Disgrace that’s small, and there’s a house in Housekeeping, too, and I’ve been thinking about those spaces a lot lately. A house is the easiest metaphor to exploit, sure, but sometimes things are easy for a reason.

This house that I’m imagining though is so far in the distance I can’t even begin to see inside it. (Though I have a little idea of who is in there.) So I’m totally letting it go. I’m just going to write the things I know I can write first, even if I have to throw them away. They’re my hurdles, and once I jump them, I get inside that house.

(Jami Attenberg’s Tumblr is here.)

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